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An extraordinarily beautiful dune landscape

Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967.  It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.

There is a network of paths and boardwalks through the dunes, woodland and heath from where you will see an array of butterflies and wild flowers, as well as access to one of the finest beaches in Co. Down.

The dune fields at Murlough are the best and most extensive example of dune heath within Ireland with over 600 species of butterflies and moths, one of which, the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, is of European importance. The site is internationally important for wintering wildfowl and waders.

Summer at Murlough

Summer at Murlough © National Trust/Murlough

Summer at Murlough

The summer at Murlough is like a nature lovers paradise - there are just so many wild things to stimulate the mind and bombard the senses. A floral heaven with vetches, trefoils, sea- spurreys, spurges, oraches, hawkweeds, catsears, gentians ; center stage and filling the vista with a purple–pink haze are the bell and ling heathers.

Upcoming events

  • Volunteers mending a bridge © National Trust/Murlough

    Get Stuck In at Murlough

    Come along and help the Rangers with a days essential habitat management. Physical work involved....

  • Murlough National Nature Reserve beach clean © National Trust/Murlough

    MCS Beachwatch

    Lend a helping hand at Ireland's first National Nature Reserve and clean up our shorelines.

Array of wildlife delights


The home of the marsh fritillary butterfly and an array of wildlife delights. Watch out for our day flying moths - the cinnabar and the six-spot burnet moth can be found in abundance.

Bring your camera and snap some shots of our many species of birds and butterflies.

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